TfL reveals plans for Canary Wharf-Rotherhithe ‘turn up and go’ ferry

Posted: 6 March 2020 |

The new service, which would provide a ‘turn up and go’ crossing across the Thames, would play a significant role in encouraging more walking and cycling across London, according to TfL.

Tfl reveals plans for Canary Wharf-Rotherhithe 'turn up and go' ferry

The first plans for what a new proposed ferry between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf could look like have been revealed by Transport for London (TfL).

The service would directly link into wider walking and cycling routes across the area, including the Thames Path and the proposed Rotherhithe Cycleway along Lower Road and Rotherhithe Street, and new cycle routes between Hackney and the Isle of Dogs.

Since making the decision in July 2019 to no longer progress a walking and cycling bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf due to costs and affordability, TfL has been carrying out further work to develop a more affordable proposal for a ferry crossing.

This work has focused on route planning, vessels, piers and connectivity to the local area and builds on initial feasibility work carried out ahead of the first public consultation on a crossing in November 2018, which demonstrated significant public support for an improved crossing at this location.

Tfl river map

Map of proposed river crossing points. Credit: TfL

TfL has now proposed a clean, fast ferry service with new specially designed boats and piers which will be as environmentally friendly as practicable.

These would reportedly be fully accessible for people with reduced mobility as well as provide adequate space for standard and adapted cycles and cargo-bikes.

To support the next stage of design work, TfL has now appointed the consultant Steer to assess different operating models on how TfL would run the service, including whether sponsorship and subsidy of the service could be used to make it free to customers.

The design work is also assessing suitable models for construction so that work can commence as quickly as possible in the future.

A second public consultation, seeking feedback on the final design options for the piers, ferries and how it will connect with the local area will be carried out later in summer 2020.

Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “We are absolutely committed to improving cross-river connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly in east London where there is a pressing need. This new rapid ferry service between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf would make it even easier for Londoners to get around the capital by bike or on foot and would bring a boost to businesses in the area.”